I won a fight with the Whale!
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Thread: I won a fight with the Whale!

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Default I won a fight with the Whale!

    First, the background.

    Moby Dick was used by the eldest son for a 1000 kM jaunt over the mountains of Victoria a couple of months ago. He and his lovely wife enjoyed French Grand Touring in company with about 30 classic Mini buzzboxes, one of which was being driven by me. Car ran well, they loved it, all was good.

    Step forward a couple of weeks.

    Middle son rang up asking if he could take the Whale to work the next morning as he'd been telling a colleague about the beast and said colleague was keen to see it. No problem, quoth I, it's still finely fettled from the Alpine Tour, come on over and swap your Outback for a Whale. He did thusly and tootled off, leaving Mr Subaru's finest in place until the Whale was returned.

    0430 the next morning, yes, that early. The phone rings. After I let go of the ceiling and answer it, I find a very apologetic Daniel saying he can't get the handbrake to release and he has to be at work soon. OK mumbled I, I shall bring the Subie and grapple with the DS in your place. So sleepily I proceeded to do so.

    A bit of bleary eyed research found the release lever broken, so a screwdriver was pressed in to service to release it, I went home and back to bed for a while, bemused by the fact that this didn't happen on top of Mt Hotham or somewhere similar!

    So there we were with a bit of 40 year old plastic that had finally failed. (They don't make 'em like that any more!) The decision was made that such a thing was not going to happen again and a replacement would be created out of a stronger material. Yes, I know I could buy a new one and (somewhere) I've even got a spare I think, but a new one could break the same way and a 40 year old spare is just asking for trouble I reckon.

    In line with the thoughts of the Creator, M Lefebvre, I decided to at least use an alternative material so a bit of aluminium the right thickness was sourced and the crafting began.

    I won't go in to the hours of cutting, linishing, sanding, filing and swearing that ensued, suffice it to say that I finally had in my hand a shiny, albeit still showing file marks, example of hand crafted magnificence in the shape of a handbrake release lever.

    Today I battled with the task of installing said piece of magnificence. It's taken several hours, and much profanity, but it works! Woohoo!! I hear your cry!

    OK, purists, look away from the photos please. I dispensed with both the dinky little childproof lock and the hairpin spring associated with it. Neither were necessary in my opinion. I fitted a small coil spring inside the handle to compensate.

    Actually fitting the thing was one of those screaming mongrels of jobs with which we Citroen owners are so familiar. Refer to the accompanying page from the parts book for elucidation.

    How it all works is simple enough. The rod (16) is held under spring tension so that the pawl (6) can clamp onto the rod (7). Pressing the lever (4) in moves the pawl enough to release the grip and allow the whole assembly to slide thereby releasing the parking brake. A clever and (relatively) simple mechanism. Rod (16) sits in the "cup" moulded in the handle (seen just to the left of the pivot hole). The depth of this cup is adjustable by the screw and locknut (13/23).

    So why is it so hard to reassemble? (I hear you cry in your relentless search for truth). Briefly, if the pin (16) is allowed to go too far inwards, it latches inside the tubing part of the handle (3) and needs all sorts of handmade twisty wurgling tools to re-position. If the spring (5) is not attached, and it wasn't, this happens. Then the spring (5) needs to be retrieved from inside the handle (3) and clipped back on. Now imagine doing this while almost being upside down and working sideways under the dash. Fun eh?

    Add to this the fact that the whole install/removal process had to be repeated many times until I had the sizing of the pivot hole (where pin 9 goes through) and the "cup" on the inside of the handle right to accept the end of the rod (16). I originally threaded the pivot hole M4 but it was too floppy in the handle, so it became M5 (after I successfully removed the remains of the tap I broke in so doing! (Another half hour of tedious fiddling. One of those days!)

    Pin (9) by the way, was originally a rivet, so imagine how much fun I had drilling the bleeder out to remove the broken bits! It's now an M5 bolt threaded into the pivot hole of the new handle. After having included provision for the adjustment screw (13 & 23) assembly I had my only piece of luck in the whole process when the depth of the "cup" I decided on in the new handle was exactly the right amount to allow latching and releasing of the mechanism. (Yes, I did measure it as much as I could, but a lot of it was "suck it and see")

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    So there we have it. Moby Dick may gradually decompose over the next century, but his handbrake release lever will still be there!

    Now you know why I've been very quiet on the Forum front lately!

    Cheers, Pottsy

    I won a fight with the Whale!-broken-original.jpgI won a fight with the Whale!-wat-sorta-orta-look-like.jpgI won a fight with the Whale!-aluminium-marked-out.jpgI won a fight with the Whale!-finished-product-warts-all.jpgI won a fight with the Whale!-situ-warts-all.jpgI won a fight with the Whale!-parts-manual-648-d-parts-1972-75-page-354.jpg
    Buvito Ergo Sum!

    The Fleet:

    2018 C3 Shine ("Oscar" Mrs P's) Grandma's Taxi
    1974 D Special Manual Sedan ("Moby Dick") Weekend Warrior
    2015 C4 Grand Picasso ("Pablo") Workhorse & Grandpa's Taxi
    1982 2CV6 ("Gaston") Seasoned Traveller
    1975 GS Pallas ("GiSelle") Bonsai CX
    And for Fun, 1968 Mini Deluxe ("The R & D'luxe" 1078cc, Grin Factor 100!)

  2. #2
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    That's real class, Pottsy. Nice work! You're going to have fun watching to see if anyone notices.

    Roger

    ps wurgling, nice neologism.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson View Post
    ps wurgling, nice neologism.
    As long as it works, I'm not fussed who notices to be frank, but yes, maybe I should have shut up on this forum and see who points at it (whether with derision or admiration) next French car day or similar.

    And as for Wurgling, not such a new word in my family. I reckon it's a cross between wiggling and turning. Possible part credit to the late, great Kenneth Williams in his alter ego as Rambling Sid Rumpo and the "Lay of the woggling iron" !

    Cheers, Pottsy
    Buvito Ergo Sum!

    The Fleet:

    2018 C3 Shine ("Oscar" Mrs P's) Grandma's Taxi
    1974 D Special Manual Sedan ("Moby Dick") Weekend Warrior
    2015 C4 Grand Picasso ("Pablo") Workhorse & Grandpa's Taxi
    1982 2CV6 ("Gaston") Seasoned Traveller
    1975 GS Pallas ("GiSelle") Bonsai CX
    And for Fun, 1968 Mini Deluxe ("The R & D'luxe" 1078cc, Grin Factor 100!)

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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pottsy View Post
    As long as it works, I'm not fussed who notices to be frank, but yes, maybe I should have shut up on this forum and see who points at it (whether with derision or admiration) next French car day or similar.

    Cheers, Pottsy
    An elegant solution

    Seems you got off lightly, I'm reminded of this post by Dave Rogers where he removed the whole dashboard to replace the broken part. . .
    DS23 Handbrake Stuck

    Could be a market for the aluminium modification, you are not the first by a long shot to have had to replace the plastic release.

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  5. #5
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    I like Photo #3. The starting point....

    Great work. Thanks for sharing it! My wee bits of "engineering" to get CX door cards to stay in place is trivial in comparison.

    Good you didn't remove the dashboard!!!

    I presume you'll be taking orders?
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1950 (R1062)
    Renault R8 1965 (R1130)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2006 (daughter's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2007 (mine)

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  6. #6
    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Never even thought of removing the dash to be frank. Probably a good thing I didn't do the usual search on the Frogs first or I might have gone down that road and be in a straight jacket by now.

    Sorry Dave, but I really can't see why you'd need to remove the dash at all. You can even get to the business end of the handbrake lever to replace the cable without too much trouble. I know 'cause I done it!

    Incidentally, the drama was high for quite a while. I thought I'd use my pedestal drill as a mill to face down the sides but Murphy intervened about half way through. The work caught and bent the spindle on the drill! Bugger!. A bit of judicious work with a 2 tonne press, a set of feeler gauges and an uncalibrated eyeball has seen the old drill "pressed" back in to service (boom boom) but not as a mill any more.

    Even did some more milling on the old lathe, but not into the fiddly bits. A lot of filing and aluminium powder everybloodywhere.

    Total list of tools used: Drop saw with aluminium blade, hacksaw, bench mount belt sander, pedestal drill, lathe, dremel grinder and lots of filing and emery work.

    As for orders, forget it. I definitely don't plan on making another one of them EVER!

    Cheers, Pottsy.
    Last edited by pottsy; 31st May 2015 at 10:23 PM.
    Buvito Ergo Sum!

    The Fleet:

    2018 C3 Shine ("Oscar" Mrs P's) Grandma's Taxi
    1974 D Special Manual Sedan ("Moby Dick") Weekend Warrior
    2015 C4 Grand Picasso ("Pablo") Workhorse & Grandpa's Taxi
    1982 2CV6 ("Gaston") Seasoned Traveller
    1975 GS Pallas ("GiSelle") Bonsai CX
    And for Fun, 1968 Mini Deluxe ("The R & D'luxe" 1078cc, Grin Factor 100!)

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Pottsy , you deserve a vote for Citroen sculpture award of the month!(and a bonus koala stamp)

    We are about to embark on just that remedy for a jammed hand brake , thank you for explaining the pitfalls , Full marks !!

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! Dave Rogers's Avatar
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    Agreed Pottsy, no real need to remove dashboard but a buggered back precludes me from laying on my back in the cramped footwell with my spine bend backwards over the sill. When the whole assembly is on the bench it was easier to dis and reassemble. No wurgling of the back required.
    83 2CV Charleston

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    Lovely job, bugger the file marks, that just shows it was created with blood, sweat & tears, rather than some giant machine. Aluminium can be fun to work with, it doesn't always require the brute force needed with a lump of iron. I used to craft carby adapter sets from steel, but the last time I needed to, I didn't have access to any decent tools, so a lump of aluminium was the go.

  10. #10
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbwadley View Post
    Lovely job, bugger the file marks, that just shows it was created with blood, sweat & tears, rather than some giant machine. Aluminium can be fun to work with, it doesn't always require the brute force needed with a lump of iron. I used to craft carby adapter sets from steel, but the last time I needed to, I didn't have access to any decent tools, so a lump of aluminium was the go.
    Wow that was an amazing amount of effort ............ Being a CX owner I'd have probably released the handbrake and covered it so I couldn't accidently pull it on oneday without thinking ..... The non working handbrake being almost as useful as most CX handbrakes

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/citro%EBn-forum/90325-best-project-car-you-have-ever-seen.html
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts pottsy's Avatar
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    Oh Shane Shane Shane!

    Fine until you need to (a) keep the engine running and (b) get out of the car on a slope.

    Ever tried accurately flinging a chock behind a wheel while holding a car with foot on brake? Then retrieving it with the string you thoughtfully, and with foresight, attached before the flinging? It's not easy and don't ask how I know!

    In regard to file and vyce marks, my late father used to defend the occasional roughness of finish of his woodworking masterpieces with the disclaimer: "It shows it's hand crafted!"

    I claim the same, although to be fair, now that I know all the tricks to getting it in and out I may at some future time remove it and polish it up.

    One day.

    Maybe

    Cheers, Pottsy
    Buvito Ergo Sum!

    The Fleet:

    2018 C3 Shine ("Oscar" Mrs P's) Grandma's Taxi
    1974 D Special Manual Sedan ("Moby Dick") Weekend Warrior
    2015 C4 Grand Picasso ("Pablo") Workhorse & Grandpa's Taxi
    1982 2CV6 ("Gaston") Seasoned Traveller
    1975 GS Pallas ("GiSelle") Bonsai CX
    And for Fun, 1968 Mini Deluxe ("The R & D'luxe" 1078cc, Grin Factor 100!)

  12. #12
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pottsy View Post
    Oh Shane Shane Shane!

    Fine until you need to (a) keep the engine running and (b) get out of the car on a slope.

    Ever tried accurately flinging a chock behind a wheel while holding a car with foot on brake? Then retrieving it with the string you thoughtfully, and with foresight, attached before the flinging? It's not easy and don't ask how I know!
    Yeah I learnt early on chocks don't work where your rolling a car ..... it rolls straight over them or pushes them out of the way (almost always trapping them underneath when the car finally does decide to stop) A very wide eye terrified Doublechevron hurtling down the length of the drive trying desperately trying to fight dead CX steering around the 'S' bend at the bottom of the drive to get into the paddock with some space to run off ....... Hasn't happened ......... er, more than 1/2dozen times

    You think I would have learn to check the handbrake actually works too after all these year as well wouldn't you ID's rarely have a working handbrake (yeah I've worked that one out the hard way several times too).
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  13. #13
    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpine View Post
    Pottsy , you deserve a vote for Citroen sculpture award of the month!(and a bonus koala stamp)

    We are about to embark on just that remedy for a jammed hand brake , thank you for explaining the pitfalls , Full marks !!
    I'll second that. Nicely done, Pottsy.
    The measure of your character isn't what you do when people are watching- it's what you do when they aren't watching.

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